Issue No 15 November 1995
'Sudan News & Views' is an independent electronic Newsletter working to advocate peace, human rights and humanitarian aid for the Sudan.

Editor: Dr. Yasin Miheisi

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In this issue:


The Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) has stepped up its offensive against government forces in southern Sudan. The SPLA said its forces had now reached the town of Kit, 35 km from Juba, the largest town in southern Sudan, and had besieged Kapoeta and advancing on the west Nile region towards the towns of Kaya, Kajo Kaji and Yei. The SPLA is also reported to be shelling Torit and Aswa, inflicting heavy casualties among the government army and the Popular Defence Forces (PDF) militia.
The SPLA has so far captured 13 government garrisons and key towns since it launched its surprise early-dry-season offensive in late October. The military posts captured include Palotaka, Obbo, Magwi, Panyikwara, Ame, Moli, Pageri and Loa. The SPLA captured many T-55 tanks, artillery guns, more than 3,000 German-made G3 rifles and large amounts of ammunition.
The SPLA also said in a statement, that 8 people were killed in Juba in a bomb attack on an army store of ammunition and food rations.
In retaliation, government warplanes have dropped 28 bombs on the town of Yambio, killing two and wounding seven people.
The Sudanese authorities declared mass mobilization and accused Egypt, Tanzania, Uganda and Eriteria of involvement. The government also canceled all relief flights to southern Sudan due to the 'security and military situation created by the Ugandan and SPLA attack in the south', according to a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
President Omer Al-Bashir also accused the US of inciting Sudan's neighbours to attack it. He said, addressing a rally in Gedarif, 'The US and its allies have tempted these countries against Sudan because of its Islamic orientation. These arrogant countries have realized they could not directly attack Sudan because of the hard blows they received in Somalia. So they are now launching the war on Sudan through its neighbours.'
On another occasion, President Bashir told army soldiers in Khartoum that 'our army is now advancing towards the Ugandan border at a firm pace, watched over by God and helped by the angels, destroying the bases of the rebellion one after another. With God's help and approval, we think the rebellion in Sudan will be ended forever, God willing'.
Foreign Minister, Ali Osman Taha, visited Juba to boost the morale of government troops. He appeared in state TV, wearing military uniform, and told government troops they are fighting a jihad (holy war) in defence of Sudan territory.
Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, warned that Uganda would hit back hard if Sudan government troops attacked his country.


The SPLA handed over to Uganda, 128 women and children captured from the Ugandan rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), which has bases in southern Sudan in areas controlled by the government. The SPLA has overrun camps of LRA in Palotaka, killing 36 Ugandan rebels and are holding hundreds of LRA fighters.
Ugandan security officials also said that Sudanese bomber planes, Antonov 32's, had violated Ugandan air space on November 9, for the third time this month. The planes flew over northwestern Uganda but did not drop any bombs. Sudanese planes last dropped bombs in northern Uganda in January.


The former vice-president, Abel Alier, and four other prominent southern Sudan politicians had presented a letter to President Omer Al-Bashir, demanding self-determination for southern Sudan and the restoration of democracy and basic freedoms to the people of Sudan. The letter said Bashir's government, by making Sudan a theocratic Islamic state, had excluded southerners politically and constitutionally.
'The people of southern Sudan are entitled to exercise their fundamental rights of reviewing the experience of the single sovereign state and in the light of that experience to decide either to affirm the unity of that state based on one religion within a framework of a confederal or federal structure, or take the second option for southern Sudan to become an independent sovereign entity', the letter said. They added 'And in recent years a war of religious Jihad was declared on southern Sudan and a new civilization project was launched consisting of racial, religious, cultural, social and economic components. Its aim and purpose being to marginalize and to assimilate the peoples of the south and other related areas of Sudan.'
The letter was signed, in addition to Abel Alier, by Joseph Ukel, Ezekiel Kodi, Isaiah Kulang and Henry Tong Chol, all are former members of the regional administration of the south during Numeiri's rule. They called for a transitional administration and an end to fighting in the south so that southerners could exercise their right to self-determination fairly and fully.
They also pledged their full support to the principles of self-determination embodied in the Asmara resolutions of the opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
President Bashir later remarked that Mr. Alier had stepped over a red line and the authorities are examining their options to deal with him and the other co-signatories of the letter.


A report, by the UN special rapporteur for human rights for Sudan, Caspar Biro, released in November, had painted a bleak picture of human rights conditions in Sudan. The report said slavery, abductions, torture and rape, mainly by government security forces, have increased despite international protests. It said most abuses occurred in Bahr Al-Gazal province and in the Nuba Mountains.
The report cited many examples of the systematic violation of human rights, among them: Rebel groups in southern Sudan were also accused of grave abuses. Prisoners captured were often tortured or executed by some commanders. Suspected civilian collaborators are also killed or tortured. The report repeated calls for the Sudanese government to release all political prisoners, allow UN monitors in and halt deliberate and indiscriminate air attacks against civilians in the south.
Biro was denied entry to Sudan because his previous report was claimed by the Sudanese government to have attacked Islam.


The US-based organization, Human Rights Watch, sent a letter to President Bashir calling on the government of Sudan to either charge, with a crime in a regular criminal court, those detained in connection with September street demonstrations in Khartoum, or free them immediately. The letter also urged the government to respect the physical and mental integrity of those under detention, and allow them immediate access to their families and lawyers.
The letter listed the names of 19 students and others who are believed to be held in detention since September 2, without charge or trial.


Sudanese officials attacked Libya and accused it of violating an agreement reached between the two countries to delay the expulsion of 300,000 Sudanese citizens till next year.
Already, 30,000 people had arrived home across the desert border and about 100,000 are now stranded on the Libyan side of the border.
Some Sudanese deportees complained that Libyan security forces had beaten them and robbed them of their possessions. Five people were reported to have died during the journey home. There were also reports on clashes in Al-Kufra area between Libyan police and Sudanese deportees.


The British Columbia Securities Commission is continuing an inquiry into reports of inside trading by Arakis Energy Corp. The President of Arakis, Terry Alexander, was reported to have sold, on August 3, 198,837 shares of the company's stock for C$9.00 a share. He bought the shares one day before, for C$4.71. He made a profit of C$853,011. He also sold, for C$9 a share, 22,836 bonus shares he bought on August 4 for C$7.05 a piece. Another Arakis Director was also reported to have made a short sale of 10,000 Arakis shares at C$25.82 and 14,600 shares at C$24.63 each.
Alexander was asked at a news conference, on August 24, if he had sold any Arakis shares since March. He replied 'I haven't, because I believe in this project', referring to the Sudan oil project.
Arakis disappeared from the limelight after a highly-publicized $750m financing from a Saudi prince fell apart, and its stock collapsed in September. Keeping a low profile this time, Arakis announced it is negotiating a new deal with the help of a middleman, Walid Al-Omer, which involves hefty fees for his services. One analyst estimated that the fees total about US$80 million.


[] The newly-privatized telecommunication company, Sudatel, had awarded a $10 million contract to California Microwave, to install a satellite communication network in Sudan. The first phase of the network is said to provide voice and data communication between 37 cities and villages and would be completed in 14 months. The second phase will expand the network to 72 earth stations.

[] The general manager of Khartoum Stock Exchange, Mohamed Abdel Rahman Abu Shoura, had been replaced by a new manager, Hamza Mohamed. Taj El-Sir Mustafa, the former Minister of Commerce, had been appointed as advisor to the exchange's board of directors for privatization and investment. Khartoum Stock Exchange was opened in January 1995. It opens just one hour every morning, has no official index and averages less than $3,000 of business a day. Eisa Abdin had also been appointed director general of the National Electricity Corporation, in place of Amin Bushari, who had resigned.


Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar

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